Reports from the front lines

Excerpts from official accounts of threats against U.S. Forest Service and BLM employees.

 

Someone fired seven rifle shots at a uniformed Forest Service fire-prevention employee driving an agency pickup in California’s Tahoe National Forest. “The firefighter reported seeing three (suspects) above the roadway on an open embankment, one of which was holding a rifle. ... The firefighter then observed (the rifleman) raise the rifle and point it at him inside his USFS vehicle. The firefighter quickly backed his vehicle away (and heard) two shots fired. As the firefighter continued backing away from the scene ... he heard five more shots fired.” Investigators found footprints and spent rifle cartridges, but never cracked the case. —July 28, 2010

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A “loud and confrontational” man walked into a BLM office in Moab, Utah, on two days and repeatedly threatened to kill and beat up men and women working there. He was upset over road closures and charged that “everyone here is a tree-hugger.” Waving his arms angrily, he said he was a Vietnam War vet “trained to kill people” and wanted to “break some bones. ... Come outside, we’ll settle this.” One employee reported, “I got scared and ran to the back office (thinking) he was going to explode.” They locked the office after he left, fearing he would return with a gun. Later, he told a sheriff’s deputy that “on occasion he rides his ATV out on a ridge and waits with his .300 Winchester rifle for a BLM employee to drive by” and that he “knows where to dispose of bodies so they will not be found.” —Oct. 13-15, 2010

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The Idaho state director of the Bureau of Land Management was threatened during the annual Governor’s Trail Ride. Federal, state and local officials, led by Republican Gov. Butch Otter, gathered in Owyhee County for the ride and its forum on “public land issues.” One speaker — an anti-federal activist from Elko County, Nevada — “bashed” the BLM over sage grouse management. Then the activist approached the Idaho BLM director in an “aggravated” manner, wagging his finger and complaining that the agency’s grouse concerns had hampered wind farm development and oil and gas drilling. The activist told the BLM director that “he had better not show his face in Elko County.”

During the forum, there was also talk of throwing a rope over a tree branch and hanging someone; the name of the target, apparently a government official, was redacted in the incident report. —June 27, 2012

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Ranchers confronted Forest Service employees trying to keep cattle out of a fenced riparian area in New Mexico’s Lincoln National Forest. The employees felt “uneasy” because the ranchers were “huddled up” at their two pickup trucks and had apparently tied back the fence to keep it open “as if to send a message.” One rancher was “very aggressive in his demeanor ... taking a fighting stance,” and shouting, “Fuck you, you fucking faggots.” One or more of the ranchers also hollered, “I can’t believe you’re fencing out my cows because of some stupid mouse (probably a species protected by the Endangered Species Act). ... That gate is going to stay open.”

As the employees retreated in a Forest Service truck, one or more ranchers drove after them, screaming obscenities: “Fucking faggots ... fucking pussies, pull over (and) get out of the truck. We are going to settle this right now. ... Let’s go, right here!” —May 17, 2013

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A man harassed a female Forest Service employee shopping in a rural grocery store near La Pine, Oregon, saying “how corrupt the government was,” and adding that the next time he “saw a government truck unattended (he) would make sure it would not make it back to the Forest Service compound.” He also accused her of conspiring to start wildfires. The employee, who was “visibly very upset,” feared the man might do her “physical harm.” —Aug. 23, 2010

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In a Forest Service office in Sandpoint, Idaho, “an individual came into the front desk area ... loud and upset ... threatening us with having targets on our backs and starting civil war if Obama wins re-election. ... He threatened to shoot Forest Service employees (and said he) has many friends in the area who would like to shoot some Forest Service workers. ... This went on for an estimated 30 minutes.” —Oct. 18, 2012

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Someone threw a firebomb at BLM campground hosts in the Wildwood Recreation Site near Oregon’s Mount Hood. “Two BLM recreation site hosts ... were performing campsite duties and traveling in a golf cart (when they) heard a loud noise and the sound of shattered glass. They pulled over ... and discovered the remnants of a Molotov cocktail. There was a sock, which was used as a wick, still burning, diesel fuel and a broken Corona glass bottle. (They) realized this device had been thrown at them.”

It wasn’t the campground’s first firebomb: “Previously that morning, two other devices were found by a BLM employee on the pavement in the same area. ... These devices were constructed in the same manner as the Molotov cocktails thrown at the campground hosts. ... There is a history of vandalism, trespass, dumping and destruction of vegetation in the wooded area near the incident site.” —July 24, 2013

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A man made an anonymous phone call to a Forest Service employee’s home in Townsend, Montana: The employee’s wife “answered the phone at her personal residence, where she resides with her husband and their children. A male with a foreign accent asked, ‘Can I speak with (the employee)?’ (She) advised that he was not available and asked to take a message. The male stated, ‘Yes, I am going to hunt him down and kill him.’” —Aug. 27, 2013

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A 6-foot-2-inch tall suspect, probably male (the name was redacted on the report), walked into the Methow Valley Ranger Station of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in central Washington, upset about logging-permit procedures. He “became frustrated and started saying something about being a member of possibly an anti-government group (and) said that they were going to take back the federal land.” He also said that he “should go out and get what he wanted and take a chance of getting a ticket.” Then he raised his voice and “made a gun gesture” toward a law-enforcement officer. —Oct. 1, 2012

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An off-duty BLM employee, who was having a drink with friends in a northern Idaho bar, was approached by a man who “started giving him grief about a recently fenced-off area” managed by the BLM. Later that evening, the man threw a salt shaker at the BLM employee, hitting him in the chest. —Feb. 4, 2011

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In Arizona’s Prescott National Forest, a man became angry when he was approached by a female Forest Service fire-prevention employee checking for abandoned campfires: He yelled obscenities and “began revving his engine and jerking his vehicle backward and forward.” He said he would “shoot down” any law enforcement officers who pulled guns on him and repeated the threat several times. The employee “felt very intimidated and concerned for her safety (and) the safety of other Forest Service employees.” —Aug. 30, 2010

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One snowy day, when a Forest Service employee in Montana’s Beaverhead Deer Lodge National Forest told a snowmobiler not to enter a closed area at a trailhead, the “violator cussed at FS employee and drove sled into closure anyway.—April 22, 2010

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Two drug traffickers threatened a BLM employee in a sports bar in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The employee reported: “I was on the patio (of the bar) when I was approached by a Hispanic male ... no visible tattoos, no scars, and no distinguishing features. He said he knew who I was and that I needed to work with them to smuggle drugs in a government vehicle. He said I would make $5,000 a run. I told him I would not do it. ... He left and returned in a few minutes with a second Hispanic male ... The first male said I needed to work with them or they would kill me and my family. I again repeated that I would not work with them. The second male hit me across the bridge of my nose. I threw a few punches and took off running ... across the parking lot.” —Aug. 22, 2013

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A man walked into the Council Ranger District office of Payette National Forest in Idaho and “made comments regarding shooting people, which the employees interpreted to mean that (he) was threatening to shoot Forest Service employees.” He was upset about road closures in the forest, and said: “This is our forest. You have no right to close roads. ... We are getting fed up. ... This is going to go to war and we’ll start shooting if it keeps up.” And he asked them if they’d heard about a Forest Service employee in Utah who got “blowed away.”

When law enforcement officers later questioned the man, he “differentiated between shooting people that may only wound them, and killing them. (He) stated that he was not planning to shoot or kill anyone, but he wanted to get the Forest Service’s attention, so he planned the incident.” —Sept. 29, 2010

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After a Forest Service employee in Lemmon, South Dakota, reported him for violating regulations, a man told the employee’s wife that he was going to “kick (the employee’s) ass.” He called the employee a “son of a bitch” and said, “The Forest Service needs to get their ass out of this country!” When he was issued a citation for his threats, he said, “I am not going to pay it. ... You better have a goddamn good lawyer.” —Sept. 28, 2010

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People who brought horses into a prohibited area of Montana’s Gallatin National Forest threatened the Forest Service employee who spoke to them about it. One “became very argumentative and (said) that he had been coming up there for 50 years.” Another “walked over with a very large alcoholic mixed drink” and “became very loud, argumentative and hostile” and “threw down his mixed alcohol drink and squared off in a hostile and assaultive posture,” calling the employee a “Tree Cop” and saying, “I could have gotten a gun out and killed you.” —Sept. 6, 2013

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A “crazy guy” called a BLM office in Bishop, California, and “wouldn’t stop calling” for two days. He “called the front desk employees liars and told (name redacted), ‘I’m going to come over there and hurt you.’ ... (He) called the employees lying bitches and said, ‘I’m going to shut you up.’” —Aug. 16, 2013

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A man aimed a rifle at a Forest Service employee who tried to handcuff the man’s wife in the Little Belt Mountains in Montana’s Lewis and Clark National Forest. The couple had driven into a prohibited area while deer hunting. The woman, who refused to show her hunting license, said she “did not have to put up with Gestapo government officials.” When the Forest Service employee tried to handcuff her, she resisted, and then, as the employee later reported: “I noticed (the suspect) on top of the hill with a rifle. (He) was yelling ‘Hey, get the fuck away from my wife.’ He repeated this several times (holding his rifle) at chest and shoulder height directed toward me. ... I felt extremely threatened.” —Nov. 26, 2011

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An intoxicated man threatened Forest Service employees during a public meeting about the pine-beetle epidemic in Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. He “interrupted the meeting on several occasions by verbally expressing (a negative) opinion of the U.S. Forest Service through profanity and open-ended, unspecific threats holding the (agency) responsible for the pine-beetle epidemic.”

Later that evening, as the man was being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, he again mentioned his “dislike of the U.S. Forest Service and its employees,” saying that he would not want “to kill anyone without good reason, but some individuals need to be dealt with.” He had “an extensive criminal history dating back to 1978 for DWI, Assault, Drug Use and Resisting Arrest.” —Oct. 27, 2011

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A man scuffled with two BLM employees who wanted to cite him for not having a proper ATV registration on a back road in the mountains near Silverton, Colorado. This confrontation began when the BLM employees, driving marked agency ATVs, stopped a group of off-road vehicle drivers. The man refused to climb off his ATV, so they wrestled him to the ground and handcuffed him. In the melee, he hit one BLM employee on the head and tried to grab one by the groin, saying things like:
“I will fuck your world up ... Fuckin’ got a hard-on right now I bet ... queer-ass piece of shit ... let me touch your wiener.” —July 6, 2012

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Paul Lachine

A man indirectly threatened Forest Service employees while talking with someone else in Buffalo Gap National Grassland in South Dakota: He pulled out a .45-caliber pistol and said, “This is for the Forest Service” and “called the Forest Service ‘sons a bitches’ and asked ‘are you gonna help me fight them? ... They are taking over everything.’” —April 16, 2010

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A female Forest Service employee reported an altercation with a man who appeared to be involved in locking a public road in Rio Grande National Forest in Colorado: “At this gate I found a chain and two locks, neither of which were a Forest Service lock. ... A Jeep came down the road and parked in the middle of the road. ... As I stood next to the Jeep holding the chain and locks (a young man driving the Jeep) started to pull (the chain and locks) away from me.”

As the confrontation escalated, the Forest Service employee reported, “I became concerned that if (he) gained possession of the chain/locks he would be able to swing them out the Jeep window and hit me in the head. ... I grabbed his wrist trying to keep control ... (He) repeatedly stated we were not going up that road, that (he) had orders to stop anyone from going up that road, it was private property. ... (He) also made numerous comments about suggested sexual encounters he would recommend for me to help the situation (i.e. go find a boyfriend to fuck or a husband to fuck or maybe I’d be happier with other females) along with other derogatory statements toward me.”   —June 8, 2012

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A man wrote a 117-page letter threatening Forest Service employees in White River National Forest in Colorado: The signed, hand-written letter made “accusations” against the Forest Service, including a female employee described as “Little Smokey Bear Girl,” as well as a former sheriff, calling them all “homosexual freaks” involved in a “faggot bastard secret society” that is conspiring to murder people. The man had a history of stalking people and threatening to burn down their homes. —Oct. 21, 2011

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Two men on horseback argued with a mounted Forest Service employee about constitutional issues, miles into Wyoming’s Washakie Wilderness in Shoshone National Forest: The confrontation began when the employee “asked the two men if there was an emergency, if anything was wrong. ... The first man asked what right (the employee) had to ask them who they were.” The employee told them, “I am plainly in uniform, I see two men trotting down the trail, maybe something is wrong.” The first man answered, “You feds think you have authority over everything in Wyoming. I will not tell you anything.”

The first man then “burst out” with “you are a good example of the feds overreaching” and “continued to explain the Wyoming Constitution and how the feds did not have authority in the state of Wyoming.” So the Forest Service employee “began a conversation about the federal U.S. Constitution.” After several minutes of disagreement over which constitution was the law of the land, the employee asked the man for an I.D.; the man refused to comply.

The Forest Service employee suspected that bighorn sheep were being illegally hunted in the area and asked the men if they owned a truck and horse trailer with expired license plates at the trailhead. They refused to answer, again saying that “states rights” trumped the federal government. “The conversation went silent.” Ultimately, the employee told them to “have a good day” and rode off to meet a state game warden deeper in the backcountry. —Oct. 19, 2012

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In the public-comment process for a BLM plan to round up wild horses in Wyoming, a wild-horse advocate sent a lengthy email to BLM employees, saying: “You sick bastards ought to be killed. ... We are so goddamned sick of your cruelty to our American wildlife. ... Fuck you go to hell where u bastards deserve (to be) terrified tortured and hung upside down (and) may your families be tortured.” —Sept. 17, 2013

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When two Forest Service employees driving ATVs on a road in Bighorn National Forest near Ten Sleep, Wyoming, approached a slow-moving Chevy pickup, the driver swerved repeatedly to prevent them from passing. Eventually, the pickup driver stopped and grabbed (one Forest Service employee) by the throat,” saying the feds “did not own the road.” —Oct. 15, 2012

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An Arizona man, inspired by an anti-Forest Service newspaper column, threatened employees of several national forests in the state. He was “upset about road closures, wilderness restrictions and other regulations,” and wrote (with little attention to grammar) that there will be “an all out revolt from Hunters, Campers and Prospectors in every state ... quit closing the access to already existing roads & trails or there’s going to be an all-out war against you ie the U.S. Forest Service, Bullets ... and people dieing ...  So Don’t Tread On Me (and) My Rights to make use of my state & my Country Or there will be trouble I Guarantee you!” Previously, he’d been convicted of stalking and harassment. —Dec. 13, 2010

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An oilfield worker threatened an off-duty BLM employee during a birthday celebration for the employee’s wife in a bar in Kemmerer, Wyoming. The employee had previously cited the man for violating oilfield regulations. In the bar, the man showed a lot of “animosity” and repeatedly told the employee to “watch (your) back, ‘cause I’m coming after you.” He also repeatedly rubbed the employee’s wife’s arm in a way that made her feel threatened. —Jan. 31, 2012

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An angry man threatened Forest Service employees in the Ashton, Idaho, office of Caribou-Targhee National Forest: “Customer came in office with an attitude against the govt ... cursing the govt, saying it was all his forest, all would be shot. —Oct. 17, 2012

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An inebriated man who’d gotten his pickup stuck on a rough road in Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Bear Lake County, Idaho, yelled obscenities at a Forest Service road-grader crew, complaining that they weren’t smoothing the road properly. When the man tried to pull the driver of the road-grader out of the cab, the driver, a Forest Service employee, kicked and punched him to keep him at bay.

Later that day, the same man drove a Ford Bronco at another Forest Service employee who approached him in a campground. That employee “heard the man’s (Bronco) accelerate and ... saw the man looking right at him,” but dodged the Bronco.

When that employee climbed into a Forest Service truck to give chase, the Bronco’s driver turned around and aimed at the Forest Service truck “at high rate of speed.” The  employee “anticipated a collision and put his vehicle into park and put (his) foot on the brake and leaned back to prepare for impact.” The Bronco driver swerved at the last second and clipped the side and front of the Forest Service truck, causing more than $1,000 in damage. —Aug. 5, 2010

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A man in a white pickup made threatening gestures at an off-duty BLM ranger driving a marked BLM vehicle toward the Burning Man Festival in northwest Nevada. The man drove beside the employee’s vehicle, matching its speed while “deliberately making motions of a hand-gun firing” seven to 10 times. Eventually the employee pulled in front of the pickup, and the man began “yelling and screaming” and “swerving back and forth, almost hitting (the BLM) vehicle.” —Aug. 27, 2010

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An angry man threatened a Forest Service employee who was preparing to drive a snowmobile up a trail in the Greys River Ranger District of Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. The employee reported, “I noticed a red Subaru heading towards me very quickly (in the parking lot at the trailhead) ... When (the Subaru) came to an abrupt stop next to my truck, I was immediately asked in an angry and confronting manner how much it would f-ing cost to snowmobile up the river ... he wanted to f-ing know how much he was paying as a taxpayer for me to ‘joy-ride’ up the river. I explained to him that I don’t ‘joy-ride,’ I perform safety patrols, compliance checks on regulations, winter closure checks etc., when he interrupted me and said that I was f-ing stupid.”

The man “then said that (another Forest Service employee) was a f-ing jerk too ... he hoped (the other employee) was ‘f-ing 6 feet underground where he deserves’ and ... knew a lot of other people that hoped (the employee) was ‘f-ing dead too, all of you.’ ... (He) continued to shout expletives at me. ... I said to have a good day, and he sped out of the parking lot shouting f-you.” —April 16, 2010

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An unidentified man phoned the Toiyabe National Forest office in Sparks, Nevada, to “complain about wilderness reservation procedures. ... He became hostile and made comments such as: ‘It was (his) job in life to take down Forest Service offices any way he could.’ Also that it was his ‘duty to make it hard for Forest Service offices and people in any way he could.’ Also, that the Forest Service ‘wastes people’s time and money, and takes away their rights.’ ... The voice sounded similar to a voice message left during Christmas time in which the caller used profanity on the Forest Service answering machine.” —March 18, 2011

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A man called and threatened a female BLM employee in the agency’s office in Dickinson, North Dakota. He wanted the BLM to give his wife $5,000 that the agency had collected from a drilling company operating on her land -- apparently a penalty for improper drilling -- but when the employee explained that the BLM intended to keep the money, he told her that he would “take it up the old-fashioned Indian way” by shooting her with a shotgun. The investigation found that he was a “convicted felon with an extensive criminal history.” —Nov. 29, 2011

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An irate man grabbed the arm of a male Forest Service employee at a public meeting in Arcadia, California, trying to get his attention. The man followed the employee outside the meeting, “shaking his finger in (the Forest Service employee’s) face in a very persistent manner that appeared threatening.” A Forest Service law enforcement officer who observed the confrontation told the man to “back off.” —May 30, 2012

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Someone sent an anonymous letter to the Cleveland National Forest headquarters in Southern California, threatening to kill any employees involved in a decision to allow construction of a power line through the forest. The letter said, “You (a specific employee) are the main target. ... Watch your back, because there is a bullet with your name on it. As for the rest of the people responsible, their days are numbered too. Fuck you.” —Jan. 31, 2011

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A landowner confronted a BLM employee who was surveying public-land boundaries near his private land, near Elk City, Idaho. He said, “Fucking BLM. If I see you on my property I will kick your ass.” Later he said that the BLM surveyors were “sneaking around like snakes,” and if anyone tried to arrest him for making threats, he would resist. The BLM found that one of his buildings was on public land. —July 28, 2010

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A man with “a history of disliking the Forest Service and its employees, as well as illegally outfitting and guiding” in Stanislaus National Forest, insulted and tried to trip a Forest Service employee during a public meeting in Greeley Hill, California. The employee — “wearing a full law enforcement uniform” — was crossing the room to show people a map on the wall. The suspect, who was part of a group of men, “began to snicker” as the employee walked by, then “abruptly” moved his leg and bumped the employee’s knee in “an obvious attempt” to trip him.

The Forest Service employee sidestepped the move, then heard “lots of snickering and saw most of the men in the group looking at (him) in a despising manner.” The employee spent the rest of the meeting standing against the wall in a defensive posture. Later, the employee learned that the man had “commented that if anyone from the USFS tried to stop him while he was on his OHV (off-highway vehicle), he would not stop.” —Jan. 6, 2010

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Paul Lachine

A large angry man threatened a female Forest Service employee at the Little Rock Dam Recreation Area in Angeles National Forest in Southern California. The confrontation began when she told a party of rafters that they were floating in an area that was off-limits due to the risk of spreading invasive quagga mussels. Some of them pulled their rafts to shore, but others jumped from one raft into the water and swam away. In response, she collected that raft, but the angry man, who was roughly 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, later approached her in the parking lot, yelling, “You stupid bitch, who the fuck do you think you are, taking my raft from me, you fucking bitch, how dare you.”

She tried to coax him away from small kids who were in the parking lot. He told her, “You stupid whore, you just think you can do whatever you want ... to make all our recreation go away. ... You’re just one of those environmental bitches who just think that you know it all. ... You are just as stupid as the BLM.”

She remained calm, but when she was stepping over a suspended chain at the edge of the lot, he tried to trip her by rocking the chain with his foot. She attempted to call for backup on her cellphone and handheld radio, but was out of signal range. As he loaded his raft into his van, she tried to write down his license-plate number, but he grabbed for the papers in her hand, scratching her wrist. She managed to write down the information anyway, and then he yelled out the van’s window “stupid cunt bitch” and drove off through a group of bystanders “who had to quickly get out of his driving path.” —Aug. 5, 2012

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A “crazed, shirtless” man — “covered in blood” and brandishing a stick — confronted BLM employees who were conducting a mussel survey near Eugene, Oregon. The man also blocked the crew’s route with his Toyota camper. He later told investigators that he was an artist who “survived by eating crayfish and other food he found in the forest.” —Oct. 1, 2012

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A man upset about the seasonal closure of a road in Southern California’s Cleveland National Forest phoned the Descanso Ranger District office and threatened the female employee who answered the phone. He told her that he was going to “put a 12-gauge shotgun in someone’s face til he gets an answer.” —Dec. 5, 2011

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A man in Glasgow, Montana, who thought that the BLM was “stealing” from his mining claims, threatened to “kill every one of them BLM employees if given the chance.” An investigation determined that the man was “diagnosed psychotic” and had a history of assaulting people. —Nov. 14, 2013

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A man walked into the Happy Camp Ranger District office of Klamath National Forest in Northern California and said he “was going to blow up the office. He made further statements that he would never really do it but told them that is what he feels like doing. (He) was angry with the Forest Service for multiple reasons including the closure of several campgrounds. ... (He) also made statements that he just wanted to kill somebody but again recanted the statement saying that he would never really do it.” —March 13, 2012

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An angry man repeatedly phoned a woman working in an office of Idaho Republican Congressman Raúl Labrador and threatened BLM rangers. He thought that rangers surveying public-land boundaries near his mining claim near Riggins, Idaho, “wanted to take his land,” and vowed to take the local BLM manager “behind the woodshed, teach him some manners and do him in.” The woman thought the man was “ramping up ... escalating toward violence,” and “was very concerned about the safety of the survey crew.” She said that “someone with a gun needs to get to the survey crew immediately to protect them.” —May 4-10, 2011

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Two female Forest Service employees were checking vehicles entering Lytle Creek Canyon in California’s San Bernardino National Forest for the required “Adventure Pass,” which costs $5 per day or $30 per year. When they started to place a citation on a parked truck that didn’t display a pass, its driver stormed out of the creek area, yelling over and over, “You better not write me a ticket! I’ll kick your fucking ass!” Then he ripped the paper off his windshield and threw it on the ground, yelling, “I told you not to write me a ticket! I’m not paying this shit!”

The man, who was “very angry and was throwing his arms wildly into the air ... continued his swearing/ranting.” They replaced the citation on his windshield, and again he threw it away. Then the man’s father and an unidentified woman appeared and gave the man the keys to the truck. The man climbed into the cab and appeared to be searching for something, claiming he had an annual pass. The employees, however, feared he was looking for a gun. Hoping to defuse the confrontation and call for backup, they began driving away, but as they did so, the man’s father ran up and slapped the side of their truck. —Jan. 31, 2010

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A Forest Service employee in California went to a man’s home near Sequoia National Forest to question him about illegal woodcutting. The man “was very uncooperative and irate,” so the employee “left the area to avoid further confrontation.” The next day, the man walked into the forest’s Kernville office, saying that “he had a right to shoot (the Forest Service employee) if he came back to his property.” —Nov. 12, 2013

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A man who had been driving off-road in a prohibited area of Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona scuffled with three BLM employees who wanted to cite him for the violation. The man locked himself in his pickup, said he could do “whatever the fuck he wanted,” yelled “profanities” and spat in the face of one of the BLM employees. As they tried to pull him out of the pickup, one of them broke a side window to get better access, and it turned into a wrestling match. As they dropped him to the ground and handcuffed him, he was “screaming and resisting the entire time.” —Nov. 10, 2012

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The driver of a turbo-charged “large black Ford pickup” on a four-lane Oregon highway near Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest harassed a uniformed Forest Service employee in a marked patrol vehicle. The pickup driver was going 60 mph, but when the Forest Service vehicle approached, the pickup driver slowed to less than 55 and “stayed in the fast lane, failing to yield.” The Forest Service employee, driving between 60 and 65, passed the pickup on the right, but the pickup driver revved his engine and sped up, trying to cut off the employee.

The employee did manage to get past the black pickup, but its driver “continued to accelerate up to the rear” of the employee’s vehicle and “continued to follow at a dangerously close distance” as the road narrowed to two lanes and entered a town, until the employee turned off the highway. —April 14, 2011

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Someone made repeated anonymous threatening phone calls to the home of a Colville National Forest employee in eastern Washington. “On several of the phone calls, (the employee) could clearly hear what he believes to be gun shots in the background.” The employee believes that the threats were a “direct result” of his forest work. —Oct. 6, 2011

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A BLM employee patrolling a “dance rave” in the desert near Black Rock City, Nevada, observed two men urinating on a “fully marked patrol vehicle.” The employee chased and scuffled with one of the men, deploying his taser. The crowd intervened, pinned the employee to the ground and hit him multiple times in the back. He escaped with the help of an onlooker in a white cowboy hat, and then, “due to the adrenalin dump,” he “began to vomit.” —Sept. 3, 2011

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A man driving a van made a threatening gesture at a Forest Service employee in traffic in Colville, Washington. The employee, who had just left a meeting in the Colville National Forest supervisor’s office, was in uniform and driving a Forest Service law-enforcement vehicle. As he passed the van, the man raised “both hands above the steering wheel and cusped them together as if pointing an imaginary pistol.” The man’s “hands twitched up three times as if (he) was simulating the recoil of a fired weapon” with his “lips pursed ... making shooting sounds” — aimed at the Forest Service employee.

The man then pulled into traffic and tailed the Forest Service employee. He passed “aggressively” on the right and acted as if he was going to steer back to the left to cut off the employee’s vehicle. The employee said later that it was clearly “an attempt to intimidate me.” —Jan. 14, 2011

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 An oilfield worker described as a “pumper” threatened a BLM employee near Buffalo, Wyoming. The employee, who was monitoring the Fence Creek Oil Field, noticed “a flow line running on the ground.” When he asked the pumper about the problem, “a heated conversation took place,” and the pumper said, “Don’t get on me or you won’t like the outcome.” When the employee returned a week later, he found “a hanging rope that was tied to be a noose.” —Sept. 28, 2011

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 A man made anonymous phone calls to the headquarters of Gallatin National Forest in Montana, saying that after roaming “the countryside,” he’d concluded that the Forest Service should be “spanked severely, and I’m not kidding when I say that.” In a second call, he said: “I have lived in the Tobacco Roots forever. You are killing them. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.—July 20, 2012


This coverage is supported by contributors to the High Country News Enterprise Journalism Fund. Map created by Brian Calvert and Marshall Swearingen.

Ray Ring is an HCN senior editor based in Bozeman, Montana. Marshall Swearingen is a former HCN intern, now serving as HCN’s FOIA project manager and freelancing; he’s also based in Bozeman.